E tags…

…to buy or not to buy?

A bit of background. Currently in the suck heap’s richest province, which happens to be the one I live in even though I’m not rich by any means, there’s a debacle about toll gates.

Not the kind where you stop and chuck your R8 or R40 at a voiceless person in a booth. No. The kind that works on gantries. placed every 10 km’s on the busiest stretch of highway in the whole of Africa. the artery that connects Pretoria with JHB via Sandton, the JHB CBD and the international airport on the East Rand.

In order for you to qualify for a rebate, you have to buy an e tag.

The whole issue has always been the following. For every litre of petrol you put into you car’s tank, a third goes to the government for tax. Petrol has been going up and up and up for the past few years. and every time petrol goes up, every thing else goes up because transport is more expensive. And eventually it filters down to the middle class.

The debates raging on FB and over the airwaves boils down to just a few points. If you don’t get an e tag, you’re part of the problem. The problem of crime being rife. The problem of people doing exactly what they do, regardless of any law.

One of the debater asked – if you don’t get an e tag, then you’re just as lawless as the person raping and pillaging.

Me, I beg to differ. I hold to the laws. Well, mostly. I don’t drink and drive. I indicate. I stop at a red light. I pay my accounts, I pay my taxes. I don’t steal, I don’t murder. I’m fighting every day to keep the status quo as is.

Thing is. With every thing the new Government implements, me and my fellow middle class humans are the ones footing the bill.

State owned medical aid – taxpayer. Youth fund – tax payer. E toll – middle class motorists.

Unfortunately, my salary will not rise exponentially when I have to pay more for food and clothing and petrol and travelling. My salary will stay the same. huge conglomerates though – they will just push up their prices to keep track of rising transport costs. Also filtering down to me.

Now. We all know there’s only two certain things in life – death and taxes. Everything else falls by the wayside in between these two certainties. And I don’t really mind paying tax. It’s what the middle class have been doing sonce the feudal system and we’ll probably die while still paying taxes.

What gets my goat though, what grates my non-existent nuts, what makes my blue eyes weep with anger is how the government waste MY hard earned money. Had they spent taxes the way it should be spent, it would not be such a hardship to live in the suck heap.

Alas. Every single day, in every singe news publication there is yet another story of misappropriation of funds by some or other government minister. Be it the current arse headed presidents’ R30 million on a homestead, or this one’s tender processes benefiting her boyfriend, or that one’s wife in jail because of drug trafficking. I’ve heard that in one year they wasted R30 b rand. On nothing other than houses and cars and holidays and take aways. They are using the hard working middle class as a piggy bank.

In the question of to buy or not to buy – my opinion. I refuse to buy one. If you want money from me, you can send me a bill like all my other creditors do. But. Why should I have to pay to use a road that has been in existence for at least 40 years? Why have you not used my one third on every litre to build new roads and upkeep the old ones? Why do you get to waste everybody’s money and then still want more?

Maybe I would not have a problem paying the tolls if it meant that lawlessness on the roads will become a thing of the past. Or if they fixed potholes before they become donga’s. Or if they repair traffic lights in days instead of weeks. or if they have actual metro policement doing point duty at damaged traffic lights.

These things are not happening, but we have to pay through our noses to keep them in a rich lifestyle? Sorry folks. Not I.

For those suck heap residents that has already bought e tags because you thought it was the right thing to do – shame on you. If there was one cause that should have had us standing together – black and white, it should be this one.

And to add insult to injury, and just to show you how utterly useless our government and it’s tributaries are – apparently today, the start of the e tolling, you could not find actual e tags anywhere, nor could you register on their website – it was down.

Here’s just two articles available on the web today. This one fills me with unease. He does not like the idea of e tools, but since he lives in Blairgowrie and not Pretoria west, he seems well able to afford yet another drain on his pocket in the shape of a corrupt government. This one is a news report about the DA – our only real opposition to the cANCer that’s eating our gorgeous country – telling people to vote against e tolling at the voting booths next year. So, fellow suck heap inhabitants. Vote with your cross next year. And vote against corruption on the biggest scale. Not that any politician is worth breathing, but in this case I’ll take the lesser of two evils…

And now for something completely different.

My Christmas song for tonight.


23 comments on “E tags…

  1. It sounds like yet another goverment idea to claw money into their empty coffers that wouldn’t be empty if it weren’t for corruption and greed. Holidays, private jets, limousines, Armani suits, gold and diamonds for them, and scrimp and scrape for everyone else. I like to think that those who create hell on earth might end up reaping what they sow in some sort of hereafter.

    • Eventually they will get their comeuppance Sarah. i just wish I knew how we vote in politicians that are so out of touch with the real world – or are all politicians just arseholes?

      • Power seems to corrupt even those who start out armed with a decent set of ethics. There is one female politician in our country (retired unfortunately) who never once lost her way and fought many a battles in her crusade for justice — especially justice for the underdog. If she’d made it to Prime Minister, the Conservative Party would have received my first vote ever.

    • Sorry you could not see the vid P!!
      As for governments – the more I see them operating, the more I realise the best thing is to get away from their “tender” care!

  2. My parents succumbed to this over the weekend and went and got themselves e-tags, I however refuse to get one. Like you said, they already take way too much taxes from us. If they just used it properly then we wouldn’t even be having this discussion now

    • Much as i try to stay within the law chickpea, this is one thing I will not succumb to. the whole toll system sucks. Just more of the same – you have to pay, and we will waste everything. it’s what Africa does. The fact that SA has lasted this long before becoming like the rest of Africa is a major miracle – and one that’s just not sustainable.

  3. I’ve been trying to find out how the etag actually works. How much does it cost – the same for everyone, regardless of how much they use the freeways? Do you buy once a year? Once a month? These gantrie thingies every ten ks. What do they actually do? If you will enlighten me I shall be most grateful.

    • I am not entirely certain exactly how much it costs Footsy. There’s been talk of it not being more than R500 for regular users.Rebates if you have an e tag, but full price if you have not. The going rate, I think, is about R1.30 or some such.
      As for what the gantries do, they’re supposed to take a picture of every car going by. Or read your tag if you have one. That will then be billed to you or your car registration no. If they want me to pay, bill me. Send me a bill in the post like everybody else does – thing is, I know it won’t happen – this lot is good at spending money, but they can’t organize a piss-up in a brewery!

      • Hang on – maybe I’ve got it! You register for e tag (or not). (Do you pay when you register?) The gantries then read your number plate every ten kms? And send you a bill accordingly? But you get a rebate if you are registered? ???? If they can bill you regardless of whether you are registered or not – what is the point? I’m obviously missing something here.

      • If you’re registered and have an e tag, they deduct the money straight off your bank account or credit card. Giving this government access to what little money I do have? Not likely. They want you registered because so many people have to use the highways that sending them all bills by post will become a logistical nightmare. Seeing as they can’t organise anything really..

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